Today, I get back to my listing of some of the Jacksonville Jaguars' greatest games of all time. I ended last week with the greatest upset the Jaguars have ever dished out, and today we move on to another great playoff victory. The Jaguars defeated the Steelers during the regular season of 2007, but up 'til this point in history, no team had ever defeated the Steelers at Pittsburgh twice in the same season.
The Jaguars were the visitor in the 2007 wildcard round of the playoffs, but they actually carried in a better record than the Steelers (10-6). The Jags were 11-5, and they were just coming off of a de-facto bye week. The Jaguars had clinched the 5 seed in the playoffs after week 16, and they had no chance of moving up in the standings. The Steelers, on the other hand, had to scratch and claw their way into the playoffs. All this set the stage for possibly the most famous play in Jaguars' history.
The Jaguars dominated the Steelers throughout the first half. It wasn't as if the Jaguars were racking up massive amounts of yardage, but they were making big plays. The Steelers scored the game's first points in the first quarter, but the Jaguars answered immediately with a touchdown of their own. Then, Rashean Mathis intercepted Roethlisberger and returned the pick 63 yards for a touchdown. Following that, Garrard connected with Maurice Jones-Drew to make the halftime score 21-7 in favor of the Jaguars.
The Steelers answered the call to arms in the second half. Jeff Reed put up a field goal in the 3rd quarter, but it was answered with another Jones-Drew touchdown. Entering the fourth quarter, it appeared as if the period would be a necessary formality. I expected the Jaguars to kill the clock, and I figured the Steelers weren't playing well enough to mount a comeback. Wrong.
The Steelers came at the Jaguars like bats out of hell, and they scored three unanswered touchdowns to grab a 29-28 lead with just a few minutes left. The Jaguars were able to drive the ball to the Steelers' 44 yard line with 1:56 left in the game. It was 4th and 2. The Jaguars had no time outs, and it was a true "do or die" situation. At that point, David Garrard decided to call his own number and he ran a quarterback draw up the middle of the defense, taking the ball to the 11 yard line.
From that point, the Jaguars were able to force the Steelers to torch their times out, and Josh Scobee kicked a chip-shot game winning field goal. The Jaguars' defense came out and shut down any hopes of a Steelers last second win by strip sacking Ben Roethlisberger and falling on the ball. The final score was 31-29, and it was the first playoff victory for the Jaguars since early 2000.
You can watch all the highlights here.